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What you need to know about the Walker and Warnock runoff showdown

Voters cast their ballots on May 24, 2022 at Turning Point at Mabel White Baptist Church on Bass Road. (Jason Vorhees/The Telegraph)
Voters cast their ballots on May 24, 2022 at Turning Point at Mabel White Baptist Church on Bass Road. (Jason Vorhees/The Telegraph)

With only one big ticket on the runoff for most of Georgia, the election between Herschel Walker (R) and Raphael Warnock (D) will likely be just as harshly contested as it was in the November midterm. The Dec. 6 runoff will decide who will go to the Democrat-controlled Senate, but not before the “lame duck” session of congress concludes in December. 

With two years of experience, and now seeking a second term, Warnock seemed to have the upper hand over his opponent, but finished only 0.9%, or about 40,000 votes, ahead of Walker, half of what Chase Oliver (L) took in the 2022 midterm.

Macon-Bibb County was staunchly blue across every race except for north Macon’s re-election of district eight congressman Austin Scott (R). However, aside from blue clusters of counties in Atlanta, Augusta and Columbus, most of Georgia voted Republican, especially in Northern and Southeastern Georgia (except for Chatham and Liberty counties).

With Walker being the predicted loser, a trend consistent across Trump-backed candidates, the Republican party leaders are attempting to take over funding of the campaign, perhaps in order to change the candidate's image. 

“GOP insiders faulted Trump, who has had a toxic relationship with popular Republican Gov. Brian Kemp even though he endorsed him the day before his re-election, for costing the party control of the Senate in two simultaneous runoffs last year, after Trump lost his re-election bid to President Joe Biden and then advanced false conspiracy theories about voting that led many Republican voters in Georgia to stay home,” NBC News reporter Marc Caputo wrote.

With Trump having recently announced his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election, Republican politicians are beginning to split and people everywhere are showing much distaste.

“This going to split the Republican party — unless he runs Libertarian?” Amelia Rivers ‘22 wrote.

“I’d like to say he’s done for, but he could very easily get the GOP nomination,” Rylan Allen ‘23 wrote.

“For the first time since the 2020 election, it is clear that Trump is far more vulnerable than people may have thought,” John Tillman, CEO of the American Culture Project, a conservative nonprofit group funded by major donors to the GOP, said to the Washington Post. “As Trump continues to focus on himself, criticize fellow Republicans, endorse less competitive candidates that go on to lose — that means he is helping more and more Republican primary voters see his flaws.”

The anti-Trump notions are not just settling within the party but also nationally; FiveThirtyEight’s polling shows about 54% of Americans do not approve of Trump. Even those trying to only look at Walker and Warnock, and not their backers, Trump and Biden, are finding it even harder to do so with Trump now executing his tired promotional style of self-glorification.

Early voting will commence after the Thanksgiving holiday in Macon-Bibb county from Nov. 28 through Dec. 2. Absentee ballots had to be requested before Nov. 25 and delivered to the appropriate board of elections before Dec. 6. You can find more information on the Secretary of State’s My Voter Page.

Henry Keating

Henry Keating '24 is a Journalism and History student at Mercer. He has worked at The Cluster as SGA correspondent, State and Local News Editor, Managing Editor and now as the Editor-in-Chief. Henry has held internships at the Macon Newsroom, Macon Telegraph, and Greenville Post and Courier. He enjoys backpacking, rom-coms, pottery and photography.

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